Apple Named Top Consumer Brand

This past year was a big one for Web and technology brands -- but none more so than Apple, which displaced Coca-Cola as the world’s top consumer brand for the first time. That’s according to the latest “Best Global Brands” report from Interbrand, the Omnicom-owned corporate identity and brand consulting firm.

Interbrand attributes Apple’s success to the way it has created a seamless “omnichannel” experience for customers. “What they’ve been able to do is outstanding,” Josh Feldmeth, CEO of Interbrand, New York and San Francisco, told Online Media Daily on Monday.

Apple has appeared on Interbrand’s list since 2000, when the ranking debuted. That year, an estimated brand value of $6.6 billion put Apple in 36th place. Today, Apple’s brand value is estimated to be worth $98.3 billion -- an increase of nearly 15 times since 2000.



As for Apple&'s future prospects, Feldmeth said they look brighter than ever.

“What happens next is a worthwhile debate, but management looks solid, and (with the recent success of its newest iPhone models) there is clearly tremendous demand for the brand.”  

Unfortunately for Coca-Cola, which has held the top spot for 13 consecutive years, its fall didn’t end there. This year, Google jumped to second in the rankings, which left the soft-drink maker to cope with third place.

According to Feldmeth, the bigger story is the success of technology companies, or at least those that are successfully connecting (and connecting with) consumers. “It’s about building technology that makes people’s lives better, and figuring out ways to get much closer to consumers,” he said.

Of this year’s top 10 brands, seven can be considered tech companies.

Thanks to major strides in mobile and international expansion, Facebook increased its brand value by 43%, this past year -- more than any other company on the Interbrand’s list. Despite its maturity, Amazon ranked in 19th place after growing its brand value by 27% year-over-year.

“I love the fact that [Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos set out to make Amazon the most consumer-focused company ever,” Feldmeth remarked. “That’s what it’s about -- having a clear vision and solving customer problems.”
Among media companies, The Discovery brand was a clear standout this year, coming in with a rank of 70. “In a era when content is king, they’re killing it,” Feldmeth said of Discovery. Among other achievements, in the six years since David Zaslav took over as CEO, Discovery has grown from making an estimated $720 million in total profits to making $721 million from its international business alone.

Among other snubs, Yahoo was rejected from Interbrand’s list this year. Feldmeth, however, is excited about the company’s future prospects. “We’re actually pretty excited about Yahoo,” he said. “Management is going to figure it out,” he predicted.  

Overall, the total value of all 100 “Best Global Brands” measured by Interbrand came to $1.5 trillion -- an 8.4% increase year-over-year. For its ranking process, Interbrand analyzes the many ways a brand benefits an organization, from delivering on customer expectations to driving economic value.

When determining the top 100 most valuable global brands, Interbrand examines three key aspects that contribute to a brand’s value, including the financial performance of the branded products or service; the role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice; and the strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company.

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